You have likely heard the phrase, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You might be thinking, why are we bringing up dogs in a resume blog? While you may not be able to teach that old dog any new tricks, when it comes to human beings, you most certainly can. The key to being a great asset to any job, whether it’s a position you have been in for years, or one you wish to attain, is to be open to growth and change. So, today, we want to delve into some tips to help develop a lifelong learning mindset.
What is a lifelong learner?
A lifelong learner is a person who incorporates both formal and informal learning into their lives to foster continuous development of the knowledge and skills they already have. This can be applied both professionally and personally. Of course, while enrolled in school, you are continuously learning and expanding your education. However, it doesn’t end once the diploma lands in your hands…or at least it shouldn’t!
There are many opportunities to continue learning, whether that be through online offerings, courses provided through your business or organization, furthering your degree, or simply researching or reading. When you commit to being a lifelong learner, you enhance your existing skills, which will benefit your work.
Tips to become a lifelong learner
Seek out opportunities
Look for ways to hone your curiosity and develop your expertise further. This might mean speaking to management about courses you can take, reading books related to your craft, or speaking to others who share similar interests and values.
Don’t wait for these opportunities to fall into your lap. Lifelong learners are always seeking out information and are excited to immerse themselves in it.
Consider your current skill set. What areas require improvement? What knowledge could you continue to build? Do you have a specific skill or talent that could be explored further? What are your strengths and weaknesses? To truly develop your lifelong learning mindset, it is important to ask yourself these questions, and understand where you need to grow, and where you want to grow.
For example, do you have a fear of public speaking? Or are you a strong public speaker? Do you love technology? Or does it fill you with fear and trepidation? Identify the areas where you think exposing yourself to more about it could benefit you. It’s not a bad idea to set a goal regarding your learning and be sure to hold yourself accountable.
Be curious and open minded
Lifelong learning is all about curiosity. Remember when you were a child, and asked hundreds of questions before noon? As we grow older and become adults, we often lose this wonderful curiosity we once had. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; both to yourself and to others. When you aren’t sure about something, ask. If you want to know more about another’s skill or profession, ask. In doing so, you open yourself up to more knowledge, and growth.
It is also important to be open-minded to opinions and beliefs that differ from your own. While you don’t always have to agree, to become better versed on topics you don’t understand fully, you must be willing to listen and to appreciate the thoughts of others. Be respectful in your interactions with those you want to learn from, and truly embrace what they have to offer.
The benefits of lifelong learning are endless. Continue to cultivate your curiosity, quench your thirst for knowledge, and embrace all the world has to offer.